You CAN have a healthy Halloween! Let me share how…
I love Halloween. I love seeing my kiddos dressed up and excitedly dancing around. Why do they do it? Well, probably partly due to their natural kid energy, but also partly due to the sugar-high they receive from all of the candy they eat around this ghoulish holiday.
I am, admittedly, my family’s sugar dealer, but in my search for hosting a healthier Halloween for my family this year, I enlisted the help of a registered nurse and integrative nutritional health coach, Brianne Pruitt from hippiedippiemom.com. Thanks to Brianne, I and many others are learning how our lifestyles affect us, both positively and negatively. Don’t assume that Brianne is against all chocolate and candy — she is not. She is not a strict and unrealistic health coach; she is a self-described “flexitarian” — she listens to her body and gives it what it needs — as we all should. Brianne’s suggestion, as is mine, is to be flexible this Halloween, but also be healthy and smart. Let’s get into Bri’s post and her tips on a healthy Halloween…
To me, October is really the start of the ‘Holiday Season’. The weather gets cooler, we’re planning our family get-together’s, and oh the sugar!! Holiday Season can definitely be a test to how dedicated we are to living a healthy lifestyle, but I’ve long ago given up using the holidays as an excuse to eat junk.
Let that be your first goal for the upcoming festivities – to continue eating healthy even when presented with all your family favorite junk foods. I’m not saying you can’t have any, because I know I’ll let myself enjoy some – but it will be small amounts.
Sugar is a major contributor to disease and I do NOT want to be getting sick during the holidays either. After consuming sugar, our immune system is suppressed for about 5 hours afterwards. Eating sugar depletes our magnesium. Learn how important magnesium is to our health here. Sugar contributes to chronic systemic inflammation which leads to EVERY disease (ie high blood pressure, fatigue, cancer, headaches, fibromyalgia, etc.)(1). Our food and mood are directly connected; learn how our food is connected to our mood here. Personally, when I eat refined sugar…I’m a cranky girl the next day!
The RDA (recommended daily amount) of sugar for children is 11g. That’s on average, so give or take a couple of grams depending on your kids’ age. You wouldn’t give the same amount of sugar to a 2 year old that a 16 year old would get. The RDA of sugar for women is 24g and 38g for men. This may sound like a lot, but when you start to pay attention to this number on food wrappers, I think you’ll be shocked! I know I was!
For example, 1 Reese’s cup is 10g of sugar! Wait for it….17g of sugar in one Fun Size Snickers!! (2)
The first sugar filled event coming up is Halloween. I really don’t understand how this day became all about giving our children pound after pound of sugar! I love getting my daughter dressed up in the costume that she chose, and going trick or treating to check out other fun costumes and decorated houses. I hate that she gets so much sugar, artificial color and flavor. Fortunately, I’ve taught my daughter how bad traditional sweets are for her and she’s used to only eating a few select pieces of the candy she receives. The rest ends up in the trash.
Wouldn’t it just be easier if we made Halloween fun and not focused on sugar? Also, think about how much money you waste on things like candy where most of it can end up in the garbage. Discover more ways that you could be wasting money on Halloween here.
Here are my top 3 suggestions for a Healthier Halloween:
Buy healthier treats in bulk. Some good choices are:
YumEarth Organic Pops. They’re Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free, Non-GMO Project Verified. They’re free from top allergens (no egg, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree-nuts), artificial flavor and color. There is only 4g of sugar per pop.
Dark chocolate is a healthier treat. Dark chocolate should be at least 72% cacao to be the most beneficial to our health as an antioxidant that helps to repair cells and support our immune system. Get this 60 pack of individually wrapped bite size dark chocolates, Mint Dark chocolate here.
There are a lot of better candy choices at NaturalCandyStore.com.
Consider a non-food treat.
These kinds of treats last much longer than their candy counterparts and don’t majorly contribute to health issues. My first non-food suggestion is temporary tattoos. Who wouldn’t want glow in the dark tattoos on Halloween?! My daughter loves them and will wear them until they’re totally unrecognizable. Get this pack of 84 temporary tattoos for less than $8!!
Here’s a 72 piece pack of notepads, stickers and stamps that are Halloween theme! I think this is what I’ll get to hand out this year!
Don’t hand out anything!
Really kids these days have enough stuff and they are much better off without candy of any kind. I know part of the fun of Halloween for adults is seeing all the cute little princesses and Ninja Turtles. Get off the couch, take your hand out of the candy bowl and go for a walk to get your own body moving while still enjoying all the fun of the holiday.
After Halloween, consider where sugar can be hiding in your every day foods. Here are 10 Surprising Hidden Sources of Sugar. Then discover the dangers of the top 3 artificial sugars here, and the healthy alternatives to both refined sugar and artificial sugar.
Bri is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a Registered Nurse.
I’ve improved EVERY negative health symptom I had by changing my lifestyle! I feel empowered and in control of my body! It’s an amazing feeling!! What’s even more awesome is that I’m passing this healthy living onto my daughter. I hope to inspire and empower you to take charge of your family’s health! I’m a work in progress and together we’ll make positive changes! Learn more about my programs here.
And, if you want to read more about how I am my family’s sugar dealer, but how I am t look beyond the candy bowl, the free bakery cookies, the Lemonade, the cake pops and the sweetened cereals.